I just thought that I would provide you all the plan that the Obion County, TN fire department presented to the county recently to help expand fire service to all county residents and abandon the subscription fee. See here. And the Obion County has just decided to expand the subscription service.
I will say that there is this resurgence in using the term "freeloader" of late, and frankly, it's bothersome. The man was a past subscriber, and he forgot to pay this time around. He offered to pay whatever price, and his neighbor, a subscriber, offered to do the same. Add to that that the fire department had put out fires for non-subscribers in the past. I think the phrase there but for the grace of God go I could be constructive here, and I am not terribly religious. I also think that if you think that the homeowner who lost his home deserved to lose everything, including his pets, then it doesn't really help to say that you are sorry for his loss; it doesn't really seem like it.